Rehabilitation Counselor (Polytrauma Knowledge Translation Specialist)

Richmond, Virginia
Feb 05, 2023
Feb 10, 2023
Full Time

General Description of Duties:

To meet the programmatic and patient population needs, this position combines Knowledge Translation Specialist duties (60%) and Rehabilitation Counselor duties (40%).

The Knowledge Translation Specialist (KTS) supports a continuous learning organization through the implementation and coordination of patient care across the spectrum of Polytrauma programs and related clinical and research projects.

Rehabilitation Counselors in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) work with persons who experience functional impairments and disabilities associated with mental health, physical, and/or psychosocial challenges affecting employment, independent living, or personal adjustment.

The duties of the Rehabilitation Counselor (Polytrauma Knowledge Translation Specialist) include, but are not limited to:

- Provide KTS support to local and VACO Polytrauma System of Care leadership, researchers, providers, and other stakeholders to advance TBI program goals and objectives.
- Coordinate the design, documentation, and implementation of program evaluation projects.
- Utilize TBI clinical outcome tools to measure care and effectiveness of rehabilitation programs for Service members and veterans with TBI.
- Participate in the selection, implementation and use of data entry, management and analysis systems for program evaluation projects.
- Utilize a variety of databases to collect, collate, analyze and present program data to local and national PM&R and Polytrauma leadership
- Work with clinical staff to track, monitor and report on KT activities at the local level and in support of PSC programs at the national level.
- Monitor the use of evidence-based practices and outcome measures at the program level. Incorporate findings into improved program practices, policies, procedures and training materials, in support of TBI program leadership.
- Support local program and national leadership in the identification of opportunities to improve service delivery through KTS and process improvement initiatives.
- Develop and plan education and training opportunities for dissemination of evidence-based practice, in collaboration with clinical and research program staff, for various target audiences to include Veterans, families and caregivers, and clinicians.
- Work with clinical program leadership to develop communication strategy. Participate in the development and dissemination of promotional materials to support the translation of evidence-based findings and related research for clinical application (e.g., presentations, publications, written and oral evidence summaries, website content, social media, plain language reports and others).
- Collaborate and participate in regular meetings with other KTS project leads, clinical providers, research staff and program leadership regarding outcomes evaluation and other KTS initiatives.
- Coordinates workforce development (vocational, education, and placement of Veterans) services and/or customer service to successfully operate a rehabilitation program.
- Provide a variety of rehabilitation services using counseling practices and evidence based and informed modalities to aid Veterans with severe disabilities in achieving competitive employment, educational, and independent living goals.
- Supports informed decision making while using professional judgment and counseling skills to assist the Veteran in identifying suitable competitive employment and placement opportunities. Conducts a skillful analysis of their abilities, aptitudes, strengths, needs, preferences, disability conditions, and resulting impairments to guide Veterans with severe disabilities and employment challenges in achieving their goals.
- Collaborates with the appropriate professionals to provide rehabilitation services, including the assessment of vocational interests, aptitude, and abilities by using clinical tests, observations, interviews, evaluations, and specialized vocational assessment instruments.
- Consult with interdisciplinary teams to enhance coordination of care, ensure medical clearance, and provide for optimal timing of further interventions. Synthesize assessment information to identify barriers to employment and their vocational implications. Completes various quality assurance and improvement activities to improve services provided.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
Telework: Yes - Ad Hoc
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.
  • Must hold current, valid driver's license to operate government vehicle.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).
  • Education.
    • A master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling from a rehabilitation counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If the applicant's degree was granted prior to July 1, 2017, the program must be accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). OR
    • A master's degree in counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). OR
    • A master's or doctoral degree in a related field of study with course content that emphasized rehabilitation, counseling, disability, therapy, health, employment, wellness, or human development from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by CHEA. OR
    • Foreign graduates with a degree acceptable by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).
  • Certification. Current, full and unrestricted certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) from the CRCC to practice vocational rehabilitation counseling.
Grade Determinations:
Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-12

Experience. Completion of one year of professional experience at the next lower grade level directly related to the position being filled, specifically this year of experience should be consistent with the following description:

Personal adjustment counseling, therapeutic rehabilitation interventions and case coordination services, utilizing evidence-informed and evidence-based modalities to aid Veterans with severe disabilities in achieving competitive employment and educational and independent living goals. Conduct biopsychosocial assessments using medical records, pertinent disability documentation, observation and interviews with Veterans and their support systems to generate personal, vocational, and educational histories. Select, administer and interpret vocational instruments to evaluate abilities, aptitudes, interests, values, preferences, transferrable skills and overall work resilience. Customize vocational exploration activities for identification of self-determined rehabilitation needs and goals. Consult with interdisciplinary teams (IDT) to enhance coordination of care, ensure medical clearance, and provide for optimal timing of further interventions. Synthesize assessment information to identify barriers to employment and their vocational implications. Determine clinical need for and capacity to benefit from therapeutic and rehabilitation services to include: work restoration/resilience treatment, transitional work placement and compensation, supported employment, assistive technology, financial benefits counseling and potential benefits protections. Develop patient-centered treatment plans utilizing SMART goals and provides ongoing assessment of Veteran's progress. Procure and manage transitional work agreements from community, state and federal agencies. Monitor work site compliance with agreements to ensure Veterans are appropriately trained and evaluated consistent with industry standards.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities.
In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
  • Understanding of knowledge translation theory and practice including critical appraisal, knowledge and skills related to the process of evidence-informed decision making.
  • Expertise in outcome data management including data collection, data entry and analysis.
  • Facility with data management platforms.
  • Ability to foster relationships with clinical providers, researchers, decision makers, and Veteran/Service member patient and family groups.
  • Ability to work both independently and within a team environment.
  • Knowledge of content design, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Ability to synthesize information from stakeholders to inform content design, delivery and communication.
  • Knowledge of and ability to conduct project evaluation and incorporate into a variety of knowledge exchange products.
  • Ability to address complexity of psychosocial rehabilitation factors and deliver timely and high-quality outcomes consistent with statutes, regulations, and policies
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of a range of rehabilitation service delivery systems for the administration and management of a clinical rehabilitation program.
  • Advanced computer skills, including demonstrated familiarity with use of online learning and knowledge exchange platforms.
  • Ability to identify learning needs and develop collaborative knowledge translation strategies/programs.
  • Ability to provide and/or develop resource materials, including education and training materials.
  • Ability to apply decision making and analytical skills.
  • Ability to prioritize, and to plan, coordinate, and organize work.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to travel for meetings as necessary.
Assignment. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Assists with the management of a clinical rehabilitation service delivery system within an organization which may include housing, independent living, vocational and educational services. Utilize complex rehabilitation counseling skills and motivational interviewing techniques not typically required in routine practice to assess a Veteran's self-awareness, adjustment to disability and work resilience. Exhibit clinical expertise through timely application of therapeutic interventions, case coordination, crisis intervention, IDT consultation, rehabilitation plan development and ongoing assessment and job development practices. Exercise professional judgement to arrange for suitable placement of Veterans with the most severe disabilities and employment challenges through skillful analysis of their abilities, aptitudes, preferences, disability conditions and resulting impairments. Provide input and guidance on program evaluations, strategic plans and policy considerations to supervisor as appropriate for all interested VA entities and accrediting bodies. Monitor progress towards accomplishment of program goals and examines the benefits of process improvements. Provide oversight, support and feedback to lower level RCs and student interns on work assignments, time and caseload management and employment outcomes.

References: VA Handbook 5005/133 PART II APPENDIX G62

The full performance level of this vacancy is 12.

Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary; however, incumbent should be able to perform prolonged walking and standing necessary to conduct worksite visits, employer tours, etc. Incumbent must possess a valid driver's license in order to transport Veterans in government vehicle to interviews, tours, etc. with employers or other community resources.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .